Category: Writing


When I first started at Oak Flats Anglican back in October last year, I was quick to try and find out if my new church had its own mission statement.

A mission statement is simply a short and pithy sentence that describes just what it is that any particular organisation is on about. In other words, it’s kind of like a mini ‘job description’ for the whole organisation, something that tells us what we should and shouldn’t be doing.

When I had a look around, I couldn’t find one.

But that’s fine. It’s not essential. It’s useful, but it’s not the end of the world if we don’t have one.

So, my assumption is that the mission statement of my new church is actually the same mission statement as the whole Anglican Diocese of Sydney… which goes like this:

“To glorify God by proclaiming our saviour the Lord Jesus Christ in prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit, so that everyone will hear his call to repent, trust and serve Christ in love, and be established in the fellowship of his disciples while they await his return.”

I’ve got to tell you… I really love this mission statement. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but it really sums up just what we should be doing as Oak Flats Anglican Church.

But how do we personalise it? How do we at my new church make it our own?

Well, this week I put down my thoughts in an article I wrote for a new online ‘Christian thought leadership’ website called Communitas.

It’s called ‘Recycling a Mission Statement’, and I’d be interested for you to read it and give me your thoughts.

And as you finish reading it, you’ll see why my church will need to get working on our ‘values’ as a church… sometime soon in the future!

As you may have read in previous posts, we’re moving church, house, school, and that’s because I’m leaving Youthworks and heading off to be the Senior Minister at Oak Flats Anglican.

To try and lead the family through this time of change, we’ve worked hard to keep communicating well with our kids, and praying regularly with and for them all.

With this in mind, I wrote an article for the Growing Faith website called Leading your kids through change, to help share our strategies with others.

By now, some of you may be aware that I have written two chapters in the new book, ‘Youth Ministry on the Front Foot’, edited by Zac Veron.

In the book I’ve written on two areas of youth ministry that have been key points of my teaching and training over the years.

Firstly, I wrote the chapter, ‘How to make your youth group fun and fulfilling’.

The main principle is that our ministry should be structured, participatory, applicable, dynamic and engaging, and that we should avoid using entertainment to make the Bible seem less boring.

Secondly, I wrote a chapter called ‘Think Dual-Action.’

The main principle here is that we should aim the whole youth program at both believers and unbelievers, and avoid the error of running separate youth activities aimed at either believers or unbelievers.

These chapters are only two of the 35 within the book, written by Mike Everett, Eugene Hor, Cameron Hyslop, Ron Irving, Sarah Macken, Dave Miers, Ken D Noakes, Murray Norman, Scott Petty, Graham Stanton, Zac Veron and Kylie Williams.

Overall, I reckon the book is worth reading if you’re involved in youth ministry and would like to develop your skills and hone your strategy.

Now, the good news is that if you haven’t yet got yourself a copy, I’ve been able to organise a mate’s rate… for my online mates.

You can take 20% off the purchase price (not the shipping cost) of the book for any purchases made through the CEP online store from 01 to 30 June 2012.

Simply click on this link, and enter the code JODIEMATE when you checkout your purchase.

I’ve written an article for Growing Faith about the controversial issue of whether or not it is good to bring kids along to funerals.

For a long time, this practice seemed to be either discouraged or even taboo.

But in my opinion, having children at the funerals of people they love can actually help them learn and grieve.

For more, read my full article, ‘Should you take children to funerals.’

The other day, as I trained a bunch of youth and children’s leaders at my church, I was vividly reminded of the impact that youth leaders have on the teens in their group.

For many years I’ve trained youth ministers and leaders about the importance and impact of their ministry.

But now, as a parent of teenagers of my own, the significance of youth ministers on the teenagers has arrived very close to home.

Read my tribute called ‘Thank you, youth leaders’, in today’s sydneyanglicans.net.

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